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Headshot of Breese Davies, wearing light purple-framed glasses and a light and dark purple blouse with polka dots
Breese Davies. Photo by Daniel Ehrenworth

Breese Davies

“The privilege of living and working in Canada comes with the duty to protect the fundamental rights of the most vulnerable.”

Fave U of T moment
Early in second year, I went to a guest lecture by Madam Justice Louise Arbour – then a judge for the Ontario Court of Appeal. She spoke about the role of law in advancing human rights, and, in just two hours, changed my career path. I was mesmerized and inspired.

Since graduation
I became a criminal defence lawyer and am now a partner in my own firm, Di Luca Copeland Davies LLP. I have been involved in a number of interesting cases, including the Arar Inquiry and the Toronto 18 terrorism trial. I’m also an adjunct professor in criminology at U of T. In my spare time, I run half-marathons (slowly) and ride a motorcycle (not so slowly).

A meaningful event
While volunteering with Avocats Sans Frontières in Nigeria, I met a lawyer who was preparing a constitutional challenge on behalf of several young men charged with being homosexual. I read his written argument, which was impressively comprehensive. It took me a few minutes to realize that he had prepared it on a manual typewriter. He had no electricity or Internet access in his office. He made me realize how lucky I am to live and work in Canada, and that this privilege comes with the duty to use my skills to protect the fundamental rights of the most vulnerable.

Your dream?
To accomplish things that might inspire my students the way Louise Arbour inspired me.

See full list of Cressy Award interviews

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  1. One Response to “ Breese Davies ”

  2. Margaret Sharon Olscamp says:

    Does anyone know whether this is the same Breese Davies cited in an article by Linda Nguyen of Postmedia News as "representing the female inmate advocacy group, the Elizabeth Fry Societies"?

    The article appears on page A3 of today's Telegraph Journal (the Saint John, New Brunswick newspaper) wherin Breese is quoted as saying:
    "it is unfair to the parties to proceed in such an unprecedented request"

    The quote appears to refer to a request by Corrections Canada lawyer, Joel Robichaud.

    According to the POSTMEDIA article,
    "Robichaud told Ontario deputy coroner Dr. Bonita Porter that the media should be prohibited from accessing and publishing any evidence released during the anticipated year-long hearing until it is complete"